Something I’ve had on my mind lately, and I don’t know why, is children, parents, phones and the relationship between them.
I’ve noticed that since technology has evolved so much, phones are everywhere. I’ve seen 8 year olds walking around with iPhones in Walmart. I’ll pass a playground and kids will be there, but they’ll be sitting around on their phones. Kids are going to miss out on completely being a kid. Parents will take their kids to the park, then sit there scrolling through social media on their phone the whole time, oblvious to what their child is doing. Some parents don’t care about the age their child should have a phone while others are more on the strict side of it. Everybody is living through a screen these days.
So when is an appropriate age for children to have cell phones? Obviously every parent is going to have a different style of parenting. There isn’t really a right or wrong way to do certain things. You just learn as you go. It reminds me of the Huggies diaper commercial. “By your second child, every mom is an expert.” Or it might be Pampers. I’m not sure. It’s a diaper commercial though, I know that for a fact.
Anyway, I don’t know how I got on to the topic of children having phones in my head. There’s so many different opinions on children having phones. When should they be allowed to have a cell phone? How much screen time will they have? How involved will the parent be towards supervising and having boundaries? Every one of those questions will have varying opinions depending on the parents, and it could also depend on the way said parent was raised.
When I was younger, I didn’t need a phone. I spent every second I could outside playing with friends and having fun. The exact thing a kid should be doing. I didn’t have a phone or an iPad or some fancy watch. I had a radio in my room and one of those dinosaur computers. Those things were crazy. I still remember the Windows sound when you turned it on and off. Eventually, I ended up getting a phone when I was 14. The only reason my parents got me one was so they would know where I was and didn’t have to come looking for me. It was one of those phones that slid up sideways to reveal a keyboard. I thought it was so cool. By the time I was at that age, my parents didn’t bother to supervise me when I was on my phone. I was old enough to know wrong from right and they trusted that I wasn’t going to do anything too stupid. I never ended up getting my phone taken away or anything. Well, once Carly and I were sitting in my room watching SpongeBob and laughing about it. My dad came barging in, thinking we were talking about something inappropriate and took my phone away. 15 minutes later he ended up giving it back because he realized we were literally only talking about SpongeBob.
Since I was raised that way, that’s how I want my kids to be. They don’t need to have a phone until they’re 14. I don’t see a point in kids sitting around on their phones all the time. I want my kids to be outside playing, not sitting inside watching videos on screens all day. Of course they’ll be able to watch tv and YouTube on my phone or an iPad but they won’t have their own personal cell phone. I don’t find it necessary. I want my kids to be involved in sports and groups and be able to hangout with friends and just have fun without worrying about the latest app or social media trend that consumes everybody.
What do I do when I want to hear other’s opinions? I go to Facebook and ask. I got a lot of different ages ranging from 8 to 15. Most of them being 13-14. A few people said 8 but there would be parental supervision and boundaries to prevent children from just sitting on their phones all day which isn’t bad.
What are your opinions on this topic? Should a child be able to have a cell phone at any age? Or is there a certain age they should be allowed to have a cell phone? And if they get a phone at a young age, should the parents make sure to monitor what their child is doing?